My review starts with a small disclaimer. Fear not this is not one of those idiotic disclaimers warning Joe-public that their hotel bathtub becomes “slippery when wet!” Or even to be careful because a recently purchased bag of peanuts “may contain nuts!” No, my disclaimer has the purpose of letting the reader know that this podcast review is science-fiction based. Looking at the title of this podcast you don’t need to be Columbo to work that one out however, sci-fi can easily split the pack on taste and preference hence the early waiver.
If you are still continuing to read on, thank you for having an open mind.
Written by Danielle Trussoni, and produced by Hadrien Royo, Crypto Z is set far in the future where mankind has finally managed to kill the planet and plunge the world into its sixth ice-age, or sixth extinction. We follow Crypto Z agents Jane Silver (Fiona Sheehan), & Felix Bright (Jamieson Price) on their mission within the French Alps as they track the elusive Icemen, who might just hold the key to save humanity escape its self inflicted ice-age.
Crypto agents or Cryptozoologists for those who are unaware (myself included) try to substantiate the existence of, or the search for, creatures whose reported existence is unproved, like the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster. Their mission is simple, to save humanity from its own extinction by tracking down the so-called Icemen who supposedly have managed to survive and flourish through five previous ice-ages. What dark secrets will we uncover about our two intrepid adventurers, and what part does the mysterious Ark & Dr Ludwig Jacob Feist have to play in locating the Icemen’s village.
Listening to the shows first five episodes the development of its lead characters has been utterly sublime. Fiona Sheehan really brings protagonist Jane Silver to life. With every episode we dive a little deeper into this characters own personal secrets as to why she volunteered to seek out the Icemen. Personally Jane Silver is my new favourite person for pronouncing the title word in the British format of Zed instead of the American pronunciation of Zee!
The added inclusion of heavyweight voice actor Jamieson Price was a masterstroke. Jamieson, a seasoned actor has worked for numerous years as a voice actor within Japanese Anime, playing pivotal roles in series like Bleach, Naruto, and the Colonel in the occult film Akira. And if that wasn’t enough, Jamieson also has his finger firmly on the video game pulse supplying his voice to video games like Call of Duty Black Ops, World of Warcraft, and the Announcer in Mortal Kombat! Trust me the list is endless. So overall I hope you get the picture, you are in very safe hands with Jamieson’s distinctive booming tones.
The depth of writing, sound quality, and production on display within Crypto Z really make you feel like you are in there, alongside these two hero’s stuck in the snow, frightened trying to survive. In my opinion, that ability to create immersive suspense within an audio drama easily rivals that of any heavily funded NetFlix series. Although Crypto Z is a sci-fi thriller, the creative writers managed to tap into actual current events like global climate change, and the fragility of both planet and humanity.
What impressed me during a break between episodes was how the show’s producer Hadrien Royo recorded conversations with its team of actors, writers, and audio pioneers about the world of voice acting, sound design, highlighting what it actually takes to make a podcast happen. Think of this shrewd audience engagement with its listeners like you are receiving a free masterclass on how to get into the audio drama industry from those who know it best. Very clever marketing guys!
I would also like to mention that this show is recorded in at least 6 different locations including London, New York, and LA which is by no means an easy feat. That is before you launch the podcast against the backdrop of an unforeseen global outbreak, which at times must have felt just as challenging as the journey our Crypto Z agents find themselves in! A well-deserved round of applause needs to be bestowed on the Crypto Z creative team for pulling this off, and for making the show happen every week in these uncertain times.
The feeling I get from the Euphonie team who create this weekly podcast is that of gifted professionals, humble, and open-minded to develop the series the best way they can. Another winning side-note from my point of view is that they also don’t overfill the podcasts with super annoying sponsored adverts that no one pays any attention to; nice to know they haven’t sold out to corporate America just yet.
So who is this podcast for? Well to start with you don’t have to be a sci-fi junkie to appreciate Crypto Z. If like me every now and then you enjoy a story podcast full of excitement guiding you through twenty minutes of true escapism Crypto Z could be the ticket for you. And no, before you ask I am not sponsored by Crypto Z however if there are any Crypto Z agents reading this feel free to send some cool merch my way.
Subconsciously I didn’t want to give too much of the plot away allowing you the chance to dive in and discover this podcast for yourself. The SOS style trailer below genuinely helps frame the story of this incredible podcast perfectly; if by chance my ramblings haven’t already convinced you to take the plunge and have a listen. You can also listen to the podcasts on their own website euponie.media, Spotify, or the old fashioned way by using the podcast player of your choice.
For any budding writers out there that would like a frank & honest review of your podcast, whatever your genre, audio-drama, factual, comedy, please do get in touch via any of the below methods, or through my contacts page.